Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Dunne Speaks: 13 August 2014

Dunne Speaks: 13 August 2014

http://honpfd.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/13-august-2014-this-is-shapingup-as.html

This is shaping up as a very unusual election indeed.

Elections are usually the opportunity to debate the future direction of the country and where alternative governments might lead it. This election, at least based on the evidence of the phony-campaign to date, seems to be an almost policy-free zone. What policies have been announced have been either a reiteration of what has been released already, or so bold and grandiose to defy the reality of being implementable, leaving the suspicion that their real purpose has been as a rallying call to shore up the wavering party faithful.

The lure of the dog-whistle seems to have been more important – the use of selective comment to persuade voters that a particular party is on their side. That is why New Zealand First is playing the race card so blatantly. In the just ended Parliament one or two of its MPs frequently looked and sounded like misplaced members of the Ku Klux Klan, and now that appeal to the extreme red-neck portion of the electorate has been legitimised through the racist overtones of the party’s campaign launch last weekend. And the Conservatives, long suspected to be really “hang ‘em and birch ‘em” proponents on law and order have reinforced that sentiment by the recruitment of Sensible Sentencing’s leader as a candidate.

In their own ways, the two main parties are also blowing the dog-whistle. National’s emphasis on protecting the fledgling Budget surplus is as much about sending signals of its reliability and credibility as an economic manager, as it is about enhancing the reputation of the Minister of Finance. Labour’s apparent willingness to appear looser with the purse strings serves the dual purpose of sending the signal it is more warm and caring, but not as fiscally irresponsible as the Greens, who, if they do well enough, will be tapping on Labour’s shoulder for the role of lead party of the left.

While this is all good fun, especially for the salivating commentariat who love to analyse and re-analyse such signs to the point of extinction, it is not doing much to inform voters of what the parties really stand for, or what new ideas they might be ready to spring upon an unsuspecting electorate a little way down the track.

In previous elections the party manifesto has fulfilled this role. In 1987, there was shock and horror when Labour did not release its manifesto to the public until a week after it had been safely re-elected. Nowadays, the same shock and horror seems reserved for the suggestion that a party might actually have a detailed manifesto at all!

For its part, UnitedFuture has never been too worried about the political norm. A few years ago, we campaigned on the central role of families, at a time when all our advice was that to do so would be divisive, because families came in so many shapes and forms. Now, every party prides itself on being family friendly. In 2004, we argued that the foreshore and seabed was public domain that should be vested in all New Zealanders. No, that could never be, the other parties said – yet that was precisely the solution the present government adopted in 2010, to general public approval.

Well, we are about to break the mould again. Early next week we will release a detailed on-line manifesto which every voter will have access to, as they consider their voting options. Maybe, that will be another case of being first to set a new trend!

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

9.30om Sunday: Update On Port Hills Fire

“We’ve got the fire under control, but we’ve yet to get a full stranglehold on it,’’ said Incident Controller Richard McNamara. “There’s still a lot of heat in the fire, and a 30-kilometre perimeter to manage.”

He said there was more heavy machinery work to do on containment lines around the fire perimeter and more retardant drops were needed. “That will give us a secure fence between the fire and residential property,” Mr McNamara said. “We need to finish it off now. Having control lines in place is vital.” More>>

 
 

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Turnbull Visit: Leaders’ Talks Cement Trade Relations, Science Agreement

Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation. Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Youth Guarantee: Upskilling Fund Used For Retraining

News that one in five of the people enrolling in Youth Guarantee already hold qualifications at the level they’re enrolling in highlights the failure of the scheme to reach the disengaged young people it was set up to assist, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What Trump May Mean For Us

So far not much effort has been put into tracing the possible implications for New Zealand of the stream of executive orders and tweets that have been pouring from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, we may not simply be drive-by rubberneckers at this car wreck for much longer. More>>

Pike River Select Committee: Solid Energy Chair Talks Resignation Over Re-Entry

Andy Coupe, chair of failed state-owned coal miner Solid Energy, said at a fiery select committee this morning that he would consider resigning if the government orders the company to re-enter the Pike River coal mine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Candidacy Troubles

So its official. Greg O’Connor will indeed be Labour’s candidate in Ohariu and – as also signaled well in advance – the Greens will not be standing a candidate in the electorate. At this point, you have to question the validity of the Greens’ excuse – “we need to change the government” – for tagging along.... More>>

ALSO:

Post-Shooting Security: Guards Say WINZ Safety Protocols Unsafe

“The safety issue has moved from inside WINZ offices to outside where security guards are isolated in front of locked doors with nowhere to retreat if they need help,” says Len. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news